Bayview Village a community hub for condo owners, builders

Condo owner Avis Ng and Phantom Developments principal Henry Strasser at Bayview Village Shopping Centre.

Condo owner Avis Ng and Phantom Developments principal Henry Strasser at Bayview Village Shopping Centre.

On this Mother’s Day weekend, Avis Ng has a special place in her heart. For a mall, of all things. Bayview Village Shopping Centre was one of the primary reasons Ng moved clear across the city from Oakville to her new penthouse condo in North York 10 months ago.

“I love this mall. All the people are really friendly and it’s really convenient,” says the retiree, who lives across the street from the upscale amenity at Bayview and Sheppard Aves., a neighbourhood known as “Yorkville North.”

“You’d be surprised how good they are to customers’ dogs,” adds Ng, noting the “big jar of dog biscuits” at the concierge desk under the chandelier in the lobby. Indeed, many of the “model citizens” whose photos appear on the mall’s website,, are tail waggers.

Ng doesn’t have a furry family member herself, but takes three generations of her two-legged kin: her mother, her son and three grandchildren. She also meets friends there for lunch and shopping, buys groceries at Loblaws and Pusateri’s and takes after-dinner walks through the halls with her husband.

All of which is to say that Bayview Village is a big part of her life. And not surprisingly, Henry Strasser of Phantom Developments expects it to also play a “huge role” in the lives of future residents of TeaGarden Condominiums across Bayview Ave. from the mall.

To get the mall ball rolling, the first 40 condo purchasers will receive a $500 Bayview Village gift card and the services of a personal shopper to peruse the 110 one-ofa- kind and luxury retailers. TeaGarden will be a 12-storey, “boutiqueish” building just south of Jade condos where Ng lives and which Phantom also built.

With the same architect, Kirkor, and interior designer, Tomas Pearce, as the Jade condo, TeaGarden will have a similar look and attention to quality while taking things up a notch, he says. That translates to higher-end features such as Bosch appliances, fewer units — 111 ranging from just under 500 square feet to just over 1,100 — and a more serene atmosphere.

“It will be a bit more relaxed with a tea lounge on the main floor and a very warm, soft feeling. The smaller lobby will be spa-like with the trickling of a waterfall,” says Strasser. Close to everything, “the location is wonderful,” he says, rhyming off “80 seconds to the (Sheppard line) subway, 140 seconds to the mall if you walk slow, two minutes by car to the 401.”

Phantom Developments, whose parent company is Phantom Industries, a leading manufacturer of women’s hosiery for 60 years, knows a thing or two about the condo market. In the 1990s, they built a highrise downtown and a townhouse complex in the city’s north end at Bathurst St. and Steeles Ave. They’ve also been a silent partner in other projects. Strasser sees the purchaser of TeaGarden as “someone who understands the neighbourhood,” including empty nesters, singles, couples and young families.

Eighty seconds to the subway, 140 seconds to the mall, two minutes to the 401.”

With prices starting in the mid $200,000s and units ranging from one-bedroom to two-bedroom plus den — as well as seven two-storey town lofts — there will be something to suit all sectors. Kitchens are designed around European- inspired cabinetry with glass mosaic backsplash, island and granite or quartz countertops. Bathrooms will boast frameless glass shower doors, deep soaker tubs and marble or porcelain tiles.

Nine-foot ceilings in the living room and engineered hardwood floors add to the esthetic appeal of the suites, which new owners can expect to occupy in 2018.

Busy people will appreciate the drycleaning service in the lobby, while the entertain-at-home type will welcome the party room with its large dining table, gourmet hosting kitchen, lushly landscaped rooftop garden lounge and oversized hot tub. A concierge, security cameras in strategic locations and fitness centre also appear on TeaGarden’s list of features.

The project will be a good fit in a condo-booming area that has attracted a wave of 30-somethings and multi-generational consumers, according to Bayview Village’s marketing director, Melissa Evans-Lee.

She’s quick to identify mall devotees as “fashionistas, foodies and decoristas.” They are discerning urbanites, she continues, who “want the downtown lifestyle uptown — everything at their doorstep.”

Talk to shoppers and you get a bouquet’s worth of bon mots about Bayview Village. Originally built as an open-air plaza in the 1960s, the mall is one of the few GTA shopping centres to adapt to changing demands and stay competitive with renovations and high-end retailers.

“It’s a beautiful mall. It’s clean and not too crowded,” says Trisha Peluso, visiting from King City with her daughter Marianna Andreacchi and 3-year-old grandson John, who live in downtown Toronto.

Nearby resident Silvana takes daily jaunts past the shops with Kate, her two-year-old cocker spaniel. “It’s fantastic because they allow us to go for a walk here,” she says. “Kate loves to come here. She does everything she has to do outside first. It’s incredible.”

With mom- and dog-friendliness ranking high on Avis Ng’s checklist, the satisfied customer is “more than happy” with her decision to move to the area.

She already knew it well from attending a nearby church on Sheppard Ave. E. And she already had her favourite mall destinations, she says, listing Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, Chapters and Judith & Charles. Not that Ng’s dropping any Mother’s Day hints for her family. “I’m just waiting for my present,” she laughs.

Originally published by: The Star